They couldn’t sell the house. They didn’t resolve everything—perhaps anything—when they left. There were cats prowling in the bushes. (We’ll just let them live out their lives in the forest, they said, which meant that they would soon die.) They thought they might leave the dog. (But then you’ll just get a new one and forget about him, I said.) Loyalty to the cats: three of them, two eleven, one twelve years old—why should they be left to fend for themselves? I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, not to the cats or to my parents. I made a poster, but I didn’t post anything on the internet. Or if I did it was half-hearted. I didn’t contact any organizations that do animal rescue work… they aren’t all “kill” shelters. Anything better than feeling held hostage (not by the cats but by this seemingly impossible need I had been saddled with). I’m only realizing now how I made a decision to be enthralled. There were three cats: one now, and he is nineteen. He has a good life, comfortable and pampered; to cross from here to there seems almost an impossible distance—it’s incredible we made it this far (though he doesn’t live with me). An involuntary journey. A passive one. What am I doing? I don’t want to live passively. I don’t want to live involuntarily. I want to be responsible for the decisions that I’m making. I want to at least know what I am following. There’s no saner feeling than feeling in charge, which doesn’t mean that everything or even anything needs to go your way.